NRNP 6635: Psychopathology and Diagnostic Reasoning Discussion: Factors That Influence the Development of Psychopathology

Explain the biological (genetic and neuroscientific); psychological (behavioral and cognitive processes, emotional, developmental); and social, cultural, and interpersonal factors that influence the development of psychopathology.

Psychopathology is the study of mental disorder, different approaches can be used in the development of psychopathology such as psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is an effective biological treatments for mental disorders. Factors such as cultures, religion, socioeconomics and ethics can influence a person’s view on psychotherapy. While Psychopharmacology interventions plays a role, in psychopathology, evidence also shows that psychotherapy treatments can also be effective in some mental health patients.

Psychotherapy help improve the functioning of the emotional stimuli regions of the brain. Studies such as neuroimaging have been used to observe the relationship between response to psychotherapy and the activity in critical areas of the brain responsible for the reaction to fear, negative emotions, and emotion control (Fournier, 2014). It has been presumed to restore neural normality’s in regions that respond to emotional stimuli and reduce its psychiatric symptoms, thus improving those regions’ regulations, especially those linked to adverse personal incidents.

There is evidence that psychotherapy positively impacts brain recovery from the psychological stress response system in psychotic disorders. It re-establishes and restores the biological neural network connection of the brain regions that are dysfunctional due to dreadful life event experiences the patient undergoes and facilitates the healing of that region of the brain (Wheeler, 2014). Psychotherapy targets the part of the brain-damaged from a mental and emotional point and tries to rewire it.

Psychotherapy uses psychological methods to treat mental illness instead of a medical approach; therefore, the patient’s culture, religion, and socioeconomics can be a hindrance to getting the necessary treatment. Culture has a powerful influence on a person’s perspective of life, both consciously and unconsciously (Wheeler, 2014). Patients coming from a culture where they cannot disclose personal events or occurrences that might cause mental instability are an obstacle to psychotherapeutic treatment. The clinician must be aware of the patient’s cultural backgrounds to be rational when conducting the psychotherapy sessions.

Religion and spirituality also play an essential role in administering psychotherapy treatments to patients with strong religious beliefs. Some religions perceive that religious figures and beings should be the only ones who address talks of one’s traumas and fears. Thus becomes a deterrent for the patient to seek psychotherapy treatments (Wheeler, 2014). It also becomes difficult for patients to give clinicians critical information to assess their mental condition. For effective communication between the clinician and patients, the clinician should be aware of patients’ religious beliefs to understand and work on how to administer the treatment successfully.

The socioeconomic status of patients with a mental disorder can also influence their views on psychotherapy’s relevance. Patients with low socioeconomic status can be linked to mental illnesses such as depression, stress, anxiety, substance abuse, and mood disorders (Haltom, 2014). Low income earning patients who are part of lower socioeconomic backgrounds lack the resources to access the psychotherapeutic treatments and may find it irrelevant to allocate their minimum payment on such rather than the essential life resources they need. Mental disorder patients from this low social status are disadvantageous in receiving psychotherapy treatments and optimal care.

Ethical issues that arise from psychotherapy treatments is the confidentiality of the patient’s information. Patients might have a hard time disclosing personal information in efforts to avoid the breach of confidence (Fisher, 2016). Psychotherapists should provide clients with complete protection of their confidential information.

Psychotherapy is a primary biological treatment for mental disorders, as per the study evidence shown. Culture, religion, and socioeconomic status of individuals suffering from mental illnesses influence the person’s perspective on psychotherapy treatments and can be a barrier for the patient to receive optimal care. Therefore, psychotherapy does have a biological basis.



Fisher, M. A. (2016). Introduction. In Confidentiality Limits In Psychotherapy: Ethics Checklists For Mental Health Professionals (pp. 3–12). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Doi: 10.1037/14860-001

Fournier, J. C., & Price, R. B. (2014). Psychotherapy And Neuroimaging. Psychotherapy: New Evidence And New Approaches, 12(3), 290–298. Retrieved from

Haltom, S. (2014). When Bad Things Happen, Our Brains Change, But Psychotherapy And Support Can Help The Recovery Of Our Brains And Our Lives. Mental Health And Social Inclusion, 18(2), 52–58. Doi: 10.1108/MHSI-02-2014-0006

Wheeler, K. (Eds.). (2014). Psychotherapy For The Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse: A How-to Guide For Evidence-based Practice (2nd Ed.). New York, Ny: Springer Publishing Company.



Your post was very thorough.  I agree people with low socioeconomic statuses have a higher rate of mental illness and hospitalizations. I would like to expand on that a bit further.  It has been my experience working as a psychiatric nurse at community mental health (CMH) that access to care, ability to afford treatment and where the patient is in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs directly affects their mental health.  I had several patients who qualified for mental health services at CMH (they must be enrolled in MI Medicaid, either as a primary or secondary insurance) who still did not have the means to get to their appointment. The lack of reliable transportation is a huge barrier to care in our rural area that does not have public transportation.

When addressing The Social Determinant of Health, the World Health Organization states “Social justice is a matter of life and death. It affects the way people live, their consequent chance of illness, and their risk of premature death. We watch in wonder as life expectancy and good health continue to increase in parts of the world and in alarm as they fail to improve in others” (Brenner, 2020).

Untreated mental illness can, and often does, snowball into more complex problems. For example, a patient with an untreated mood disorder may escalate, leading to poor hygiene, self-harm behaviors and may turn to substances to self-medicate (Brenner, 2020). Substance abuse can lead to Hepatitis C and other liver problems, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, hepatic encephalopathy, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, malnutrition, diabetes, pancreatitis and many other disease (Brenner, 2020).

Our text also reports that access to healthcare is a serious problem for those with addiction and serious mental illness (SMI). According to the National Comorbidity Study, less than 40% of those with a SMI had received treatment in the last year and those that had received inadequate treatment (Sadock, Sadock & Ruiz, 2015).

Access to care is a barrier to mental and physical health care, forcing those who cannot access the system to use the emergency rooms as their primary care, or only seek treatment when it becomes and emergency (Sadock, Sadock & Ruiz, 2015). In order to decrease these barriers to mental healthcare, funding to mental health services.



Brenner, G. H. (2020, February 29). How Mental Health Links Socioeconomics with Physical Disease. Psychology Today.

Sadock, B. J., & Sadock, V. A. (2015). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry (11th ed.). Wolter Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Discussion: Factors That Influence the Development of Psychopathology

In many realms of medicine, objective diagnoses can be made: A clavicula is broken.  An infection is present. TSH levels meet the diagnostic criteria for hypothyroidism. Psychiatry, on the other hand, deals with psychological phenomena and behaviors. Can these, too, be “defined objectively and by scientific criteria (Gergen, 1985), or are they social constructions?” (Sadock et al., 2015).

Thanks to myriad advances during recent decades, we know that psychopathology is caused by many interacting factors. Theoretical and clinical contributions to the field have come from the neural sciences, genetics, psychology, and social-cultural sciences. How do these factors impact the expression, classification, diagnosis, and prevalence of psychopathology, and why might it be important for a nurse practitioner to take a multidimensional, integrative approach?

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, considering the many interacting factors that contribute to the development of psychopathology.
  • Consider how theoretical perspective on psychopathology impacts the work of the PMHNP.
By Day 3 of Week 1

Explain the biological (genetic and neuroscientific); psychological (behavioral and cognitive processes, emotional, developmental); and social, cultural, and interpersonal factors that influence the development of psychopathology.

 a selection of your colleagues’ responses

By Day 6 of Week 1

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on 2 different days by explaining the implications of why, as an advanced practice nurse, it is important to adopt a multidimensional, integrative model of psychopathology.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link, and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!


Factors that influence the development of psychopathology;-


According to Jimenez, Botto & Luyten (2018), psychotherapy is an interpersonal process which modifies feelings, behaviors, attitudes, and cognitions that have been problems towards an individual seeking help from a healthcare professional. Studies related to mental disorders have linked the relationship between psychological and biological factors. There is a general agreement that psychotherapy involves a specific type of learning in the context of an emotional relationship that may lead to epigenetic modifications across different therapeutic treatments (Jimenez et al., 2018). The uniting of organic and psychological sciences it not only presents the challenges but also the structures. A proposition that humans have an innate biological aspect in the brain that processes experiences to a physiological state where information can be received for learning to occur. Studies have shown both pharmacological regimen and non-pharmacological treatment like psychotherapy is also effective in treating mental disorders (Wheeler, 2014). The data suggest that a biological basis does exist and therefore, mental health professionals should consider it when treating mental health patients. There is also a biological component that can be present and viewed as tangible evidence to support a tailored approach when treating a patient (Wheeler, 2014).

There some some child and adolescent disorders that have been associated with genetics and youth in some families are susceptible to mental illnesses through gene transmissions. For example, polygenes have been found to be associated with externalizing problems in youth (Butcher & Kendall, 2018).

Also growing up in a complex society lacking or with limited family support and economic resources can seriously and negatively impact the way in which a young person develops. Not surprisingly, there is evidence to indicate that psychological adjustment is negatively influenced by low socioeconomic status Butcher & Kendall, 2018). Poverty related stress is associated with a variety of psychological problems in youth. Financial hardship in childhood was predictive of onset of all classes of disorder across development (Butcher & Kendall, 2018).

While there are universal commonalities in mental disorders, psychopathology is embedded in social culturally based systems of meaning and values. Social and cultural variations are found in the formation, expression, labeling, and treatment of symptom experiences (Cheung & Mak, 2018). Theories of culture and psychopathology have compared diversities of psychopathology across cultures and examined the role of culture in causing or determining the conditions that lead to psychiatriatric disorders. Other than the theory of cultural determinism, the concept of cultural relativism proposed that the diversity in a mental disorder, the variability of symptoms presented in that disorder, or the judgement of what constitutes pathology may be explained by cultural diversity (Cheung & Mak, 2018).

In Conclusion, healthcare professionals should try to gain their patients’ trust regardless of the ethnic background, race, culture, religion, and socioeconomic considerations. Healthcare professionals should clear up many misconceptions individuals may have about mental health illness.



Butcher J. N., & Kendall, P. C. (2018). Introduction to childhood and adolescent

psychopathology. In J. N. Butcher & P. C. Kendall (Eds.,), APA handbook of

psychopathology: Child and adolescent psychopathology., Vol. 2. (pp. 3-14). American

 psychological Association.


Cheung, F.M., & Mak, W. W. S. (2018). Sociocultural factors in psychopathology. In J. N.

Butcher & J. M. Hooley (Eds.), APA handbook of psychopathology: Psychopathology:

Understanding, assessing, and treating adult mental disorders., Vol. 1. (pp. 127-147).

American Psychological Association.


Jimenez, J. P., Botto, A., & luyten, P. (2018). Psychotherapy and Genetic Neuroscience: An

emerging dialog.


Wheeler, K. (Eds.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to

guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing

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